18 steps to making a mini top hat (in the real world)

1. Procrastinate the making of your Halloween costume. You have plenty of time to put something together and your favorite TV show is on tonight. But you’ll definitely start working on it tomorrow. You promise yourself.

2. Initiate panic sequence the day of your Halloween party. You’ve dug through your closet and were able to throw a  costume together, but realize you need a cute mini top hat to top off the outfit.

3.  Hoard multiple empty cereal boxes in your basement. If you’ve actually done this, you were either featured on Hoarders or you were using them to make mini top hats and then decided you would make loads of them to sell. Later you did the math and realized you would have to make one an hour to be profitable. Sadly you were averaging one a weekend.

Cereal boxes for top hats

At least it’s not Lucky Charms..

4. Stockpile yards and scraps of tulle and fabric, along with baubles, buttons, and faux flowers because if there is a zombie apocalypse you know you’ll be able to sell them for a huge mark up.

Tulle and fabric

One day this will be organized. Likely after I fold the laundry and finish my novel…

(If you realize you weren’t proactive enough to have completed steps three and four, your hat making experience will require a trip to the grocery store and/or the craft store. This will add to the stress created by steps number one and two.)

5. Rummage through your supplies to find a color combo that works. It’s best if the materials are spread all over the floor so your cats can roll on, bite and bat all your precious materials. It will also annoy your husband.

6. Use the power of suggestion so that your husband decides he should go to the coffee shop and bring back your favorite beverage.

7. Pick suitable background noise. Music is okay. But I find a showing of The Hunger Games or Vampire Diaries works best. A word of caution though, the background noise should not compete for your full attention. This could lead to hours of watching and no crafting. I’ve seen it happen before. It’s not pretty.

8.  Begin construction. Because you’ve waited until the last minute, there is no time for patterns or measurements. You just use objects around the house that “look” like they’re the right size.

Tracing cup for top hat

I used a water glass to trace the top of the hat.

Fringes for top hat

I follow my traced line when cutting out the top, but actually cut a centimeter or two outside of the line. Then I make these little cuts to create a fringe. Then I fold them in so they can be tucked into the body of the hat.

Tracing bowl for bottom of hat

Then I use a bowl to trace the base of the hat and cut along the traced line.

The strip of cardboard (see below) that makes up the body of the hat will have to be cut a little longer than the circumference of the top of the hat, after the fringes have been folded in.

photo 1-2

This will make it so that the body of the hat ends up being the same width as the top of the hat, but will allow some overlap to glue the ends of the body together. The width (or short part) of your body piece will determine how tall the hat is.

cardboard mini top hat

To make it easier to form the body of the hat I sprinkle it with water and then rub it in a bit. You can now form it into a  tube and glue the ends together. If you want your hat to narrow at the base of the body it will have to be cut into an arc to allow for this. It is a pain but I just keep eyeballing it and trimming it until it is right.

For the base of the hat, you will cut a round hole in the middle of the base that is a little smaller than the circumference of the body. I center the glued body in the middle of the base piece and trace around it. Then when cutting, I follow the line, but cut about a centimeter or two on the inside of the line. Then I cut the little fringes to the traced line (as done with the top of the hat above) and fold the fringes in, so that they can be tucked into the body of the hat (see below).

photo 1-1

The outer line here is where I traced the body, and the inner line is where I would cut to leave myself space to make the fringes.

9. Pause to reheat coffee and discuss how unrealistic a certain vampire character is.

10. I forgot to tell you your husband is also working on a hat. His is a store bought top hat that he is embellishing. After about 20 minutes of work he shows you what he has done. Be careful here. If you are not sensitive in your critique you will end up working on two hats.

11. Begin working on husband’s hat. He has become frustrated, whiny and defeated. But first, pause to go to the bathroom.

12. Once you’ve finished with your husband’s hat, listen to him gloat about how he knew if he whined enough you would just do it for him.

13. Realize that a couple of your cardboard pieces are cut too big, or perhaps the others are too small. Since you can’t make the smaller ones bigger, you trim the larger ones trying not to make things worse. You likely make things worse and now your hat is about half the size you originally planned. Pause to go the bathroom again.

Cardboard mini top hat

You will then insert the fringes of the base into the body of the hat and glue them in place.

cereal box mini top hat

And insert the fringes of the of the top into the body and glue in place. Of course my top was a little big so I had to jam it in there.

Fabric over mini top hat

Then I cut fabric to size (I just eyeballed it). You could have traced the fabric earlier using your cut box pieces, but I like to do things the hard way.

14. Add the finishing touches and repeatedly tell yourself that no one is going to look that closely at it anyway. Curse the earlier cup of coffee because you have to pee again.

Trim around mini top hat

You’ll want to add trim around the top, the base and brim.

15. Attempt to remove the glue strands that are now on the couch, coffee table, cat, your hair and of course clinging to all parts of your hat.

16. Revel in your masterpiece and then realize you’ve been crafting almost all day. You will surely be at least an hour late to the party. Thumb through a magazine and surf the internet for a few minutes.

17. Scramble to get ready and then head to the party. About 10 minutes into the drive you’ll realize the hat is still sitting on your dining room table. Turn back and arrive at the party 45 minutes late.

18. Revel in the fact that you are only 45 minutes late. And you have an amazing top hat! And there you go. I hope you enjoyed my mini top hat tutorial. With the proper amount of hoarding, procrastination, spousal manipulation and caffeine you too can have a top hat just like this!

Red and black mini top hat

And then embellish and attach to a headband or alligator clips. I have no idea how most people attach the hat to the headband, I just glue gun the heck out of it 🙂

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Evan’s post – I won’t be kept in the dark any longer

My wife is a vampire. And I’ve known for some time. Because I know when she is lying. I might be a frat boy turned investment banker, but I’m not stupid.

Courtesy SickestFame via Flickr

Courtesy SickestFame via Flickr

She was lying the first time we met, that day by the lockers, when she was harassing my sister. Her nose crinkled up and her eyes searched for a believable story. She was beautiful. A beautiful liar.

I’m not mad. I’m not. I’m frustrated. Why do our lives have to be a charade, an act hidden behind a perfectly constructed façade? I’m tired of it. But she never seems to grow weary, at least that I can tell. She goes on, day to day, like everything is a damn 80’s sitcom.

Then there’s her “friend” that keeps coming by. I’m assuming he’s a vampire too. Maybe he’s the one who turned her or maybe he’s just some guy she met at a vampire potluck. Either way I’m not happy about it. But what can I do? I couldn’t control her when she was human. And now I feel even more powerless. Trapped in my own world of lies and now hers.

But I love her. I always will. As long as she lets me. As long as time and circumstance allow me.

We’ll get through this. I know we will. She’s my Libby. She’s the reason I became who I am. She’s the reason I keep fighting. She’s the reason I lie, the reason I keep secrets–mine, hers and ours.

I guess it could be worse. At least she’s not leaving dead bodies everywhere. I already pay Lucille far more than she’s worth to scrub a toilet and mop some floors. I can’t imagine the fee for dead body removal.

Courtesy Sam Pullara via Flickr

Courtesy Sam Pullara via Flickr

I do have a plan though–for Halloween night. Secrets are going to be shared. I’m dead set on it.

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

A new season, A new bird

When I was a kid, well, really until my late twenties, I knew a new season had arrived based on obvious clues:

CLUES FROM THE WEATHER

Spring: It’s going to stop snowing any day now. It has to. It can’t go from 78 and sunny one day, to 36 and dreary the next. Wait, yes it can (see fall weather).

spring snow

What spring looks like in Denver
(Image courtesy Warren Brown via Flickr)

Summer: Someone please find me a shade tree. STAT. I think my skin is melting off.

I thought an image of my skin melting would be too icky, so I used this pic instead.

I thought an image of my skin melting would be too icky, so I used this pic instead.
(Image courtesy Steve Hankin via Flickr)

Fall: Uh, oh. It’s gonna get cold. Any day now. And it will happen like this: Monday – 70 degrees, Tuesday – 64, Wednesday – 72. Maybe winter won’t come? Thursday – 74. Friday – 69. Saturday 28 degrees! HA! Take that beautiful fall weather!

Denver Snow

How I see fall and winter in Denver. (Like I’ve said before, I do exaggerate sometimes)

Winter: Did someone move Colorado to the North Pole when I wasn’t looking? *Reference same picture as above*

CLUES BASED ON THE SCHOOL YEAR

Fall: Crap school is starting. How many weeks until my next break?

back to school

Image courtesy USAG – Humphreys via Flickr

Winter: At least we have two weeks off for Christmas. And they won’t expect us to do any work the two weeks before either. It’s like a whole month off!

advent calendar

How a kid sees the month of December
(Courtesy Rene MT via Flickr)

Spring: A week-long break for what? I don’t know. Just to celebrate spring? I’ll take it.

spring break

Image via Daniel Ramirez via Flickr

Summer: Utter and complete, joyous freedom!

(Courtesy Craigfinlay via Flickr)

(Courtesy Craigfinlay via Flickr)

CLUES FROM TV COMMERICALS

Spring: In three months I’ll be able to ditch the mittens and go to the pool and have water gun fights just like the folks on TV. Until then it’s just cruel to show people having summer fun. Oh and don’t forget to do your Christmas shopping.

Pool

Image courtesy David Goehring via Flickr

Summer: Why are you already advertising notebooks and colored pencils? It’s July for crying out loud. I hate you Wal-Mart. And by the way, school supplies can make great Christmas presents too.

Colored pencils

Image courtesy Luxt Designs via Flickr

Fall: It’s Christmas time! Really? I thought it was the end of October. All right, put away the scarecrow and pumpkins. I didn’t really want to give thanks anyway.

Christmas in October

Image courtesy Jo Naylor via Flickr

Winter: Now that Christmas is over, there are still more things to buy. And they’ll be on sale. Really, you should just start shopping for Christmas now.

Christmas ad

Image courtesy e r j k p r u n c z y k via Flickr

Now that I’m a bit older, I notice more than the clues above. I notice the little things–small details that my self-absorbed, youthful self never noticed. It’s funny how once the world stops revolving around you, you notice more of the world around you.

In the spring, I never noticed the first shoots of green emerging from the earth, or the first ladybug babies snacking on aphids. My younger self only noticed the obvious. It was getting warmer and lighter.

In the summer, I never noticed how certain perennials thrived in the 100 degree heat, while others wilted and browned. My younger self noticed it was hot.

In the fall, I saw the leaves turn and knew it was getting colder.

But now I have a new way of knowing fall is here. In addition to the fact that it’s cold, sometimes snowy, and apparently already Christmas, I know summer is behind us because of a small migratory bird. A bird that I never noticed before. In all honesty, I didn’t notice many birds when I was young, and probably could have only identified five that lived in Colorado.

But as I grew older things such as birds started to interest me, so I studied up on all the little guys that frequented my feeder.  The one I’m talking about today is the Dark-eyed Junco.

Snow Junco

These little guys arrive in Denver every fall and hang out under our feeder or our shrubs happily eating millet or whatever else they scrounge up. And then, one day in  spring, they all take flight and head north or to the mountains for the summer.

Last Monday, the first teeny, tiny snowflakes fell in the city. It was the same day I noticed the first pair of Juncos in the backyard.

That night I asked my husband to guess who I saw in the backyard. With some prompting (they come every winter, I’m talking about a bird, with dark eyes and their name begins with J) he finally got it.

My younger self would have relied on the snowflakes to know fall was here and winter was coming. Today, I don’t need the flakes. The Juncos are fair warning.

What are your favorite clues the seasons are changing? Do you notice things you never used to? Are you finished with your Christmas shopping? Do you exaggerate how cold or hot it is? Are you secretly happy when the back to school commercials begin? Please, share your thoughts!

Libby’s Post – I chose the zoo over the mall, I must be bored

Courtesy of FotoSleuth via Flickr

Courtesy of FotoSleuth via Flickr

On Wednesday we went out again. Brian picked me up this time, arriving in a shiny BMW sedan–a car far cooler than he ever was. The car was freezing when I got in and the cold leather shocked my bare thighs. I pulled my shorts down to protect what skin I could.

“Why is like Antarctica in here?” I asked trying to smooth the goose bumps on my arms.

“Oh, sorry,” he replied turning the AC setting from ‘wicked ice age’ to ‘a polar bear would probably still be comfortable’. “I guess I just run hot.”

We were on our way to the zoo. A place I hadn’t been since I was 12. It was Brian’s idea. He called me up yesterday and asked if I wanted to go.

My new vampire life oddly seeming more boring than my human one, I figured it was the zoo with Brian or another shopping trip to Nordys, alone.

I’ll be honest; things have been kind of sucky since I turned. I can’t tell anyone my secret, not my husband, my best friend Emme or even Zed at the Yoga Spot, who by the way, has been super psyched by my recent performance in class.

I also have to regularly suck on strangers’ necks and you all know how I feel about that. And I’ve been forced into this whole Lost Colony drama with Emme. And what do I think about history? BORING.

So that is how my days have been spent: a little yoga, some blood sucking, a trip to the mall, more blood sucking and then a visit to Emme’s house to hear her blabber on about that stupid colony. And I have to pretend to be interested. God, I am such a good friend.

Courtesy Chris Christner via Flickr

Courtesy Chris Christner via Flickr

Brian led me through the turnstile and stopped in front of the snack shop.

“Not more pizza,” I said, pretending to gag.

He grabbed my arm and yanked me inside. “No, even better. They have nachos, with that liquid cheese.”

Courtesy Gabriel Flores Romero via Flickr

Courtesy Gabriel Flores Romero via Flickr

A few minutes later we walked past the camels and into a section with all sorts of antelopey like things. Brian ate his nachos and I drank my cherry slushie.

“So, how have you been holding up?” he asked.

“Good.”

“Are you sure? Because last week I told you that you were marked for death.”

Courtesy Rob Bulmahn via Flickr

Courtesy Rob Bulmahn via Flickr

I stopped to read about one of the striped antelopey things. It was a Lesser Kudo. “Yep, I’m sure. Thanks for the warning though.”

“Libby,” he stood squarely in front of me, his eyes boring into mine, “I told you someone is trying to kill you and you aren’t the slightest bit concerned?”

“Uh, I am concerned,” my eyes focused on the tray of soggy tortilla chips, “but it’s not something I want you to worry about.”

“How, can I not worry? You’re my friend.” He kept talking but my mind wandered.

I wanted to tell him. Tell him everything I knew. Tell him this was all much bigger than he could imagine. But I didn’t want to put him danger. Erasmus was dead set on getting his way. It didn’t matter who died along the way.

“Libby, are you even listening?” Brian waved his nacho tray in the air and leaned his face close to mine.

“Um, sort of.”

“It’s all a joke, Libby. I made it up.”

My brow furrowed. “What do you mean a joke?”

“After I became a vampire I sort of found everyone who was involved that night and got back at them. Nothing terrible. Just some practical jokes.”

Courtesy Martin Pettitt via Flickr

Courtesy Martin Pettitt via Flickr

“And my practical joke was to tell me I’m going to be killed.”

He started toward the giraffes, talking under his breath. But I could still hear him. “It probably wasn’t the best idea. It’s just hard to freak out a vampire. You have to go a little bigger. I was going to tell you right then and there, as soon as you freaked out, but you never did. Then I waited for you to call and you never did. So, here we are.” His eyes got all puppy dog like.  “I’m sorry, Libby.”

“So you added my initials to that tree?”

“All of the trees.”

“All of the initials, on all the trees?”

He stopped and looked to the ground. “There is no burial ground back there. I made it all up.”

“Wow,” I tried not to laugh. “You must be even more bored than I am.”

“I do have a lot of time on my hands.”

He chucked the plastic nacho container in the trash. “So, you’re not mad at me?”

I handed him my empty slushie cup. “I don’t know about mad, but you’d better watch your back. I can be vindictive.” I stood back and tried to look sinister.

We went from one exhibit to the next, talking (quietly of course) about what he’d learned so far about being a vampire. I tried to stay focused on his stories, but one thought kept creeping back into my mind–Brian’s confession only changed one thing: my burial site.

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

Airing my clean, but wrinkly and unfolded laundry

Laundry

Courtesy Boston Public Library via Flickr

Washing machine – check. Clothes dryer – check. Detergent and fabric softener – check. Piles of dirty clothes – check and double check.

I have all the modern day supplies and equipment to do a load of laundry. Yet, I struggle. I just can’t bring myself to sort, carry, load, unload and fold my clothes. At least not on regular basis.

Honestly, I haven’t done a load of laundry in at least two months. And I don’t even really have to wash the clothes; the machine does it for me.

Now, I’ll clarify and say that I am not walking around in ketchup stained, smelly T-shirts. My husband has picked up the slack and lovingly tosses our clothes in the washing machine each weekend. He usually remembers to transfer them to the dryer. But this is where he begins to slack off. Once they’re dry, they sit atop the dryer or on the ironing board or even just live in the dryer for a while.

This where we currently stand with our laundry (both Martha Stewart and my mother will surely be disappointed):

Dryer

One load in the dryer, where it would probably stay for the rest of the week, except there’s a load waiting in the washer right now.

clothes on dryer

Another load on top of the dryer.

clothes on ironing board

And one in the laundry basket on the ironing board, just begging for a cat to come sit in it.

Like this

Like this…

Or this - double trouble.

Or this – double trouble.

Of course, I’m not picking on my husband. This is far better than I do each weekend.

It’s even become a running joke in our house. Whenever I’m looking for something that happens to be in the basement he always says, “It’s in the basement, by the washing machine … Oh, I’m sorry. You aren’t going to know where that is. So there’s this big white box and you put clothes in it…”

He thinks he’s really funny.

But what is it about laundry? Why is it I can unload the dishwasher? Or vacuum the rug? They’re not my favorite things to do, but I still do them.

I don’t even have to use one of these when I do laundry:

washboard

Courtesy Jennifer C. via Flickr

Is it because laundry becomes an all day ordeal, even if I’m not actually doing the washing? Is it because it reminds me of all those Sundays getting ready for the dreaded work-week ahead? Do I just hate going in the basement? (I really do hate the basement). Am I just waiting for the day that there’s an App for that?

What are your thoughts? Is there something you dread and put off until someone else does it? Do your cats go straight for the basket of clean laundry, making it all furry and wrinkly? Are you one of those crazy people that enjoys doing laundry?

Libby’s Post: What’s with all the cheese?

I am so over him right now. My heels are caked in mud, I have two broken nails and I missed Dr. Oz., all because my old tutor has a hunch. A ridiculous hunch that I am going to be killed.

To that I say, whatever, I’m not worried. I’ve taken Tae Bo. I know how to defend myself.

Courtesy Rob Boudon via Flickr

Courtesy Rob Boudon via Flickr

We met last week at the arcade–I thought because it was the last place someone would suspect to find a vampire. Well, let’s just say the guy still enjoys a good game of laser tag.

I recognized him right away, standing in front of the old-school Pac Man game. He got me to play a couple of rounds and I’m pretty sure he let me win, twice. He never used to let me win.

After another win for me, this time at air hockey, we got a pizza and sat at a table in the middle of the snack area. He insisted on getting extra cheese.

“You know I love cheese,” he said grinning. “And being a vampire I can eat as much as I want.”

“Shh.” My gaze shifted to the pre-teens around us. No need to worry, they were all on their phones.

He folded his slice in half and took a huge bite.

“So, Brian,” I straightened the napkin on my lap, “I’m so sorry for what happened. You know, in school.”

He pulled the ends of his pizza slice apart and poured more Parmesan on top. “Needs more cheese.”

Courtesy British Mum via Flickr

Courtesy British Mum via Flickr

“Uh, yeah.” My hands smoothed the edges of the thin paper napkin. “Like I said, I’m really sorry. I was a terrible friend.”

I watched him chew a disgustingly gooey bite, his throat struggling to choke down greasy blob.

“No worries, Libby. We were kids then. I don’t hold any grudges.” He took my hand and squeezed it. “I’ve moved on.”

He was just as sweet as I’d remembered. But now his geeky T-shirt and dark-framed glasses made him look cool. And he was young. The jerk hadn’t aged at all. I was suddenly annoyed. How dare he age better than me? Or I guess not age.

“So what happened to you?” I asked, pushing gobs of cheese to the side of my plate.

He took a long sip off his straw, his eyes fixed on mine. “I came to the party to say goodbye. We were leaving that night and I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again.”

“Oh, I didn’t know… I mean, where were you going?”

“I never told you about him, my vampire friend. We met soon after you and I started our tutoring sessions. He was impressed with my computer skills and asked if I wanted a job. He offered me the chance of a lifetime.”

My brain latched on to the most confusing piece of his story. “Computers? I didn’t know you were good with computers. You were a philosophy tutor.”

He shook his head and leaned forward. “I sucked at philosophy. I hated it. I was just better at it than you.” His hand grabbed mine and squeezed it again. “I was there when you signed up. I volunteered so I could be with you.”

I didn’t pull my hand away.

“So you left with this vampire? Just walked away from your life?”

“I was young, Libby. All I wanted was to be with you and I knew that wouldn’t happen. So, I ran away.” He cleared his throat. “When I came to say goodbye, I was hoping you would ask me to stay, tell me you cared for me, but instead those meatheads beat the crap out of me. A few hours later, my friend found me, scraped me off the ground and I never looked back.”

“So you’ve been working for him ever since?”

He slid a fourth slice of pizza to his plate. “Yeah, it’s been great. I’ve never regretted it once. And it’s been great to see you, Libby. How’s vampire life treating you?”

I struggled to answer his question honestly. My vampire life was pathetic compared to his. He was confident and composed and I was still trying to figure out why coffee still burned my tongue.

And then today he dragged me through the cemetery, over the back gate and then another half a mile through the woods. Some warning about proper attire would have been nice. My Jimmy Choos can only take so much.

Courtesy Stephen Boisvert via Flickr

Courtesy Stephen Boisvert via Flickr

He stopped suddenly and pointed at a tree. “There.”

There were two letters carved into it. “So?”

“Libby, I think you’ve been marked. This,” he circled around pointing to the forest around him, “this is where Erasmus buries his kills. Each tree is marked with the initials of the vampire buried below it.”

My initials were carved into the tree, but so? There could be tons of vampires with the same initials. Then I saw the date below it.

Courtesy Stuart Heath via Flickr

Courtesy Stuart Heath via Flickr

“Libby, that’s your birthday.” He rubbed his fingers across the wood. “Erasmus takes pride in tracking the birthdates of his victims. He kills without regard, the young and the old. His goal is to have a kill born from each decade.” His gaze moved to the woods behind me. “Back there he has some of his oldest victims. Vampires from the 1300s.”

I drove home muddy and tired, pondering the possibility that the next door to door salesman could be a killer, ready to stake me dead. Like I said, I’m not worried. I’m just annoyed Brian went through all that just to tell me something I already know.

I mean, my friend Emme’s dog already told me.

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

Irrational fears: Ghosts and Sharks (and a little snake too)

We’re all afraid of something, right? Some are afraid of heights, others fear flying, my husband is TERRIFIED of snakes.

snake

Yes, he’s even afraid of snakes this small. You may proceed to make fun of him.
(Courtesy TonyAlter via Flickr)

Some of these fears are rational and others aren’t. I personally have a few irrational fears. At the top of my list: sharks. I’m 100% sure this stemmed from the movie Jaws–thanks a lot Spielberg.

shark

Courtesy Steve Garner via Flickr

Swimming in the pool, the ominous music plays in my head (you know what I’m talking about) and I wonder if one could be lurking behind me. In a dark, Colorado reservoir I’m sure one is circling below. Any moment the fin of death will show itself and I’ll be a goner.

Snorkeling off the coast of Mexico, I cursed my husband’s choppy swimming style. His legs thrashed and kicked the water, splashing around like a dying fish. Was he trying to lure them to us??? Doesn’t he know they can sense erratic movements?!?

Needless to say, we survived, only to face another one of my irrational fears: ghosts.

We drove through the vine-covered gates and down the oak-canopied driveway.

vine gates

canopy

Decomposing white shacks flanked the road. These were the old slave quarters. Up ahead, the mansion stood proud with secondary buildings on either side. There were sleeping quarters in the main house, the converted kitchen and the schoolhouse.

The innkeeper menacingly informed us that there was just one other couple staying the night. (I’m just kidding; she was very sweet and obviously harmless… at first glance)

We dropped our bags and headed off to explore the former rice plantation, established in 1718.

Slave quarters

Weaving through the rotting buildings, we contemplated whether it was right to be staying on land that once enslaved hundreds. It was then that the kernel of fear was planted. My husband reflected on how many people were probably buried there, in unmarked graves.

Sleep wouldn’t come that night. I positioned myself in the center of the bed, pressed against my husband (because they can only get you if you’re near the edge, right?).

ghosts

This is what I pictured was happening outside our room.
(Courtesy of Johnxfire via Flickr)

Around four in the morning I had to pee. Every time I opened my eyes I expected to see someone standing there. I held it until morning. Even my husband admitted he was freaked out.

At breakfast the other couple made the requisite chitchat. But soon the conversation turned to the ghosts. The other couple sensed them as well!

He started going on about the guest book and how the innkeeper said no one had stayed over the last week. But someone had signed the book just yesterday. She told of how at lunch in the nearby town, a local asked where they were staying. When she said the name of the place, the local had never heard of it.

Did it even exist? Were we lured there like in a scary movie?

The innkeeper served the main course, informing us that she had checked her husband out of some sort of facility and he was living in one of the refurbished slave quarters. But we weren’t to worry, he never left the bedroom. Uh, anyone see the movie Skeleton Key?

her house

Where the innkeeper and her, uh, husband lived.

We asked if we could see the other rooms of the inn (most B&Bs let you do this). She said the other rooms weren’t clean. Sure… we thought. All these other rooms and none of them were clean? That must be where the bodies are kept.

The other couple talked about checking out. We pondered the same thing. But, it was agreed that we would all stay and meet by the fire pit that night–in the scary movie world, this would have sealed our doom.

It was dark when we returned. We turned off the highway and found the first gate closed, but not locked. That’s strange. The innkeeper said the gate was never closed. The other couple wasn’t back yet and we feared they wouldn’t return. An hour later they showed. We had a few drinks, shared our fears and finally went to bed.

our room light

The door leading into our room.

our room

The first picture wasn’t scary enough, so I did as much editing as I know how to make it look creepy. Are you scared now?

Of course, I couldn’t sleep. I sensed them–the ghosts. They were definitely there and going to get us. For what, I don’t know.

The next morning we told the innkeeper about the first gate being closed. Her eyes opened wide and she stuttered. It was strange she kept saying. She didn’t close the gate. Who would close the gate?

The girl from the other couple was a wreck. They were on their honeymoon and thinking of cutting it short. We parted ways, never to see them again.

Looking back this was the most scared of ghosts I have ever been, save my haunted college house and the ghosts that haunted me after watching Paranormal Activity.

People ask me why I’m so afraid of ghosts and not, say a burglar. Well it’s quite obvious and rational, I think. A burglar I can fight. I have a chance. With a ghost, what am I going to do? Call Ghostbusters?

Just like with a shark. I’m more afraid of them than, say a mountain lion. Why? Because I feel like I can try to fight a mountain lion. I could even use bear spray. With a shark, what am I going to do? Out-swim it? Pretend I’m a bigger, scary shark? I doubt it.

And now, to add to my irrational fear of sharks, there is the sharknado…

sharknado

Really? Now I have to worry about this?
I do live in an area that gets tornadoes…
(courtesy of ZennieAbraham via Flickr)

What are your irrational fears? Are you afraid of ghosts, snakes or public speaking? Are you permanently traumatized from a movie or book you read? Did you watch the movie Sharknado?